Pilbara Housing Prototypes

The Pilbara Housing Prototypes is an additional chapter of the Pilbara Vernacular Handbook, which explores several housing design typologies for building in flood prone areas. It aims to provide a diverse range of house type solutions from single-family dwellings to townhouse and multiple unit housing. Various construction methods have been explored including standard construction methods, modular hybrids, raised stilted homes and steel frame modular construction.

Our designs draw upon the investigation undertaken in the Pilbara Vernacular Handbook and are purely speculative. Further investigation is required with the construction and planning sectors. The designs do however, respond to Landcorp’s Climatic Responsive Design Policy with regards to setbacks, natural ventilation and open space.

Th 3D renders were prepared with the assistance of Last Pixel.


Barrack Square

The Barrack Square project centres on the desire to provide high quality design that will form a backdrop to increasing the activation of the area surrounding the Bell Tower during the first stages of the Elizabeth Quay development. Through extensive consultation with the client and a collaborative working relationship with all consultants we were able to deliver an appropriate design outcome, within a limited budget and on a tight timeframe.

Responding to the existing elements of the site and the construction language of the nearby civil works, we carefully wrapped safety rope around the palm trees creating a place marker that moves through and activates the entire site. Fairy lights have been strung through the existing large canopy trees, and a playful pink pergola has been constructed over a new deck area. Soakwells reimagined as giant planters and seating complete the scene.

Live performance, music, long table dinners, pop up markets or simply allowing your children enjoy the new playground space are all easy and possible in this space.

Vasse Newtown Village Architect

CODA was engaged as Town Architect to provide an architectural vision for the Vasse Village Centre. The Centre forms part of the Vasse Newtown project located 250km south of Perth in the Shire of Busselton. The Newtown Centre is located at the intersection of two major arterials, the Bussell Highway and Bypass Extension and provides amenity for both the local region’s residents and people passing through.

CODA produced a series of architectural palettes to provide guidance for future developments in the town centre. The materiality and architectural forms come from an understanding of the local vernacular of the South West and act to form a cohesive town centre village feel.

Victoria Quay Precinct Plans

CODA were engaged as lead consultant by Fremantle Ports to deliver a suite of ‘Enabling Plans’ to realise the commercial and social development opportunities for the underutilised areas at Victoria Quay, the Fremantle Train Station and Pioneer Park precincts.

Having in the past failed to gain community and stakeholder support, the Port was keen to extend the scope of the project to unlock the waterfront, and to create real opportunities for commercial investment.

CODA’s proudest achievement with this project is the way in which we have stitched together two places of West Australian cultural significance, the Fremantle Port and the City of Fremantle; and, at the same time responded to the complex demands of civic infrastructure and an active working port.

Using extensive community and stakeholder consultation, coupled with a transparent design process, we were able to truly connect the Port, Railway Station and an important pocket of urban parkland with the broader city of Fremantle. The final outcome celebrates the historical integrity of the site whilst at the same time providing a framework for exciting new civic and commercial development within the city.

In 2015, this project received the Australia Award for Urban Design in the Policies, Programs and Concepts – Small Scale category.

South Hedland City Centre Architect

As Town Architect for South Hedland, CODA provides consultancy services on the built form and public realm interface within the city centre. As part of this role we have tested options for individual lot development against the established Design Guidelines and statutory requirements; determined the appropriateness of designs according to their context; identified typologies which reflect the aspirations of the community and client; and, reviewed and updated the existing Design Guidelines and Detailed Area Plans for the city centre.

Our role is also to ensure that optimum design outcomes are achieved in both the built form and urban design. We have communicated our ideas through 3D digital imagery as well as in written report format. Our role as Town Architect is ongoing, and the next phase will involve the assessment of development applications based on our research and contextual understanding.

Karratha Shade Structure

This project has given CODA the opportunity to test the strategies defined in our Pilbara Vernacular Handbook and, in doing so, explore the architectural and performance possibilities for overhead shade structures in Karratha, based on the Handbook’s recommendations. The shade structures are proposed as part of the future expansion and densification of the Karratha town centre. Considerations of climate, radiant heat, air flow, interaction with surrounding buildings and aesthetic appeal to the street below have all been tested and combined to form this conceptual design.

The main objective for these structures is to provide shade, however many other opportunities were identified that can benefit the street amenity and increase the desire for people to use it. Using folded metal louvres, rather than a horizontal platform, allows for control of the sun angle and shading as well as providing ample air flow. There is also the possibility of artistic expression through the form and colours of the underside of the shades, creating a vibrant and colourful city centre for Karratha. Opportunities for street interaction through use of signage and street furniture has also been explored as a way to reduce the structures’ visual scale and provide interaction with the shade structures at a pedestrian level.

Kings Square Precinct Urban Design Strategy

Kings Square sits at the geographical and civic heart of Fremantle and the aim of the strategy is to reinstate the Square and its surrounding sites as an important social and commercial hub for the city centre.

Amendment 49 to the City of Fremantle Local Planning Scheme No. 4 has recently been introduced and establishes the planning requirements for the key development sites in and around Kings Square including the heights of buildings and their setback from the road boundary. The strategy includes the full length of Queen Street as a connection to the Train Station and Victoria Quay, as well as a consideration of the pedestrian routes from Kings Square to key retail nodes and attractions around Fremantle.

In March 2012, the City engaged CODA, Creating Communities Australia and Kelsall Binet Architects to provide architectural, urban design and landscape architecture services and to facilitate public consultation.

The project can be broken down into five distinct phases:

  • visioning
  • design development
  • community consultation
  • amendment
  • adoption.

A series of community consultation workshops and presentations were held throughout the project to encourage a collaborative and iterative process and to ensure that the needs and desires of Fremantle’s residents, commercial owners and operators and other stakeholders were considered. The consultant team documented and analysed the outcomes of the community consultation process for presentation to City Councillors who gave final consideration to the preferred Urban Design Strategy for Kings Square and its surrounds. A copy of the adopted Strategy is available for download from the City of Fremantle’s website.

In 2015, this project received an Australia Award for Urban Design commendation for Small Scale Policy, Programs and Concepts.

Town of Cambridge Local Housing Strategy

The purpose of this project was to identify housing typologies and planning opportunities for the Town of Cambridge in order to meet the Council’s housing objectives for a target of an additional 3000 homes by 2031, as set out in the draft Central Metropolitan Perth Sub Regional Strategy. CODA’s responsibility was to deliver a series of housing typologies that demonstrate positive and achievable development opportunities for the Town.

Our preparatory work underpins all our design decisions by building a thorough and astute understanding of place. We have achieved this through research and exploration of the impacts and influences at a statutory level for historic, existing and forecast conditions.

For each of the residential precincts of City Beach, Floreat, Wembley and West Leederville we looked at the opportunities and constraints of the existing housing stock in terms of type, form and character as well as streetscapes and local context. Each of these four precincts has its own distinct character and form and it is these differences that ultimately determined the pervading sense of place for our final typologies.

Cantonment Hill Master Plan

The need for a Master Plan for Cantonment Hill comes after 10 years of lobbying by the local community to prevent the surplus site being sold for residential development. In 2010, the City of Fremantle purchased the site and the following year engaged CODA to prepare a Master Plan for the site alongside the Cantonment Hill Master Planning Working Group.

The project required extensive consultation with stakeholders; research and analysis of the heritage and other contextual data; the identification of opportunities and constraints within the site; recommendations to be made for its future development and care as well as suggestions for the heritage interpretation of the site; preparation of support material and the participation in a process of community consultation and feedback; and finally, the delivery of 3D modeling and a Master Plan report.

Cantonment Hill provides powerful visual entry marker into Fremantle but despite its position the land has lain desolate for many years. The site requires extensive upgrades and investment in order for it to become an inviting amenity for local residents and visitors to the City. Financial feasibility will significantly influence the final outcome.

Potential barriers such as the existing buildings and roads have been creatively incorporated into a plan for pedestrian and cycling routes that will ultimately link Cantonment Hill with central Fremantle.

The public realm within the site responds to nature, climate, regional identity, local character, and its potential visitors and residents in order to express a relevant and recognisable landscape vernacular. Spatial and social concepts of community and neighbourhood have all been addressed within the Master Plan.

Perry Lakes Design Guidelines

Perry Lakes holds a significant place in the collective memory of many Western Australians. Built to host the 1962 Commonwealth Games, Perry Lakes was recognised as an iconic sporting venue of considerable value. For many, Perry Lakes provided an intensely personal study of the heroic clarity, openness and beauty of modernist architecture. It became a monument to its time and purpose.

CODA was engaged to develop Design Guidelines and Detailed Area Plans for the Landcorp housing development project at this site. We worked closely with Roberts Day to develop built form and urban design outcomes respectful of the site’s unique cultural, environmental and historical significance.

The Perry Lakes project has created a new high quality residential development on the former stadium site which compliments the proposed sporting facilities at AK Reserve. The development has respectfully interwoven elements of the heritage and history of the past with a new type of product for the area; created an exciting benchmark for sustainability in the area over and above the Act requirements; created an inspiring example that will lead the way for new approaches to diversity in housing and communities; and, is sensitive to its neighbouring communities.